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Controversial Cagle cartoon hits front page of Mexican papers

MSNBC editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle’s has managed to upset many in Mexico with a recent Mexican Flag cartoon. At least two Mexican newspapers have published it on their front page. The cartoon in question depicts the eagle featured on the Mexican flag gunned down (the whole flag is bullet ridden).

Regarding the controversy, he writes:

The Mexican embassy to the U.S. is writing a formal letter of protest about the cartoon to I’m impressed with the passion that so many people have about the cartoon here on my blog.

Many readers commented here that my cartoon violates a law in Mexico that forbids parodies of the Mexican flag. I asked the reporter from Reforma about that, and he confirmed that Mexico had such a law, but he didn’t know if the law was considered in Reforma’s decision to print the cartoon on their front page.

As regular readers of our site know, national flags are common fodder for editorial cartoonists around the world, so the reaction to this cartoon was surprising to me. It looks like the fuss hasn’t blown over yet.

You can read some of the comments from readers on his blog

Community Comments

#1 Dan Long
@ 12:06 pm

Dear everyone on Earth,

Lighten up.


#2 Ben Carlsen
@ 12:08 pm

My only reaction is “I don’t get it.” I guess I’m not up on my Mexican political news.

#3 Beth Cravens
@ 12:23 pm

I think Daryl is talking about the Mexican Drug war that has been raging for the last 4 years. I don’t suppose you’ve heard about the (31?) migrants getting massacred and the 72 bodies they found in a mass grave. Northern Mexico is a war zone. Drug lords have been particularly hard on TV stations (car bombs) causing them to be afraid of reporting on the violence. Meanwhile government attempts to crack down have been ineffectual at best. It’s no surprise to me that the Mexican Embassy takes offense to the cartoon, truth hurts.

#4 Rich Diesslin
@ 12:23 pm

@Dan – LOL! @Ben – I didn’t at first either but I’m guessing it is referring to the huge problem they are having in general with violence in their country. Apparently it struck a nerve more than just “misuse” of the flag. It’s easier for the government to just be offended than to be offended and acknowledge the point. Apparently the newspapers that used it were trying to emphasize the point … how often does an editorial cartoon make the front page?

#5 Pab Sungenis
@ 12:37 pm

Daryl didn’t do the cartoon while in Mexico, or specifically for papers in Mexico (which would have had the option to not run it) so the law doesn’t apply to him.

Taste is another matter, but some of the most effective cartoons have deliberately used bad taste to spur discussion on an issue.

#6 Dave Stephens
@ 12:52 pm

28,000 slaughtered mexicans so far…

They are killing journalists. Police Chiefs. Mayors. And Americans, too. A great many are tortured first. And 28,000 is just the FOUND bodies. There could easily be thousands of bodies that will never be found…

Little wonder they are talking seriously about legalizing drugs there.

#7 wade brumett
@ 1:30 pm

Good one Daryl.

Of course it would have been more believable to be-head the bird and hang it’s headless body on the outskirts of town.

#8 Clay Jones
@ 2:19 pm

And we haven’t gotten to the heart of the matter in this blog post. There’s not one reason mentioned why people are upset.
Who, what, where, when and why.

#9 Shane Davis
@ 3:06 pm

Funny the rest of the nation is just now seeing what we?ve been witnessing for about 15 years now.

When the tourist trade starts drying up in Cancun and Acapulco (because the cartel WILL go there eventually ? they?re too good of targets to ignore), then Mexico will do what all third world nations do when they admit defeat ? they?ll ask America to move in and solve the problem for them.

Except now it’s probably too late to help them because no one is left that has the political will to do what has to be done. These are Mexican cartels and when they shoot at you, you have to shoot back ? which means you are shooting Mexicans. And what politician is going to advocate shooting at hundreds of folks that belong to the same demographic as the fastest growing demographic in the US?

Can’t you hear CNN now? “US soldiers today shot and killed 238 Mexicans in Coahuila today…” Oh, that’s great for the ol’ poll numbers, isn?t it?

Being from Texas and having friends in law enforcement that have worked the Texas-Mexican border, I can tell you without question the problem is far, far worse than the outside world knows. It’s an open war.

Mexican drug runners, coyotes (running illegals) and corrupt military members doing escort duty are going as far as 50 miles or more into American territory to protect their trade – brazenly, openly and without fear. Because they know no one on either side has the stones to do anything about it.

Anyone who thinks this isn’t an open border war just doesn’t know the truth. There are many places in South Texas that US lawmen will not go due to being fearful for their life or, more to the point, they are simply unwilling to get caught up in the political powder keg of shooting Mexican nationals or Mexican soldiers, even if it is on our side.

It isn’t worth it when they believe the politicos on this side will just throw them under the bus. Want proof? Thousands are dying on border and Washington is filing a suit against Sherriff Joe Arpaio! That?s their solution?

A big part of the problem is the cartel knows Americans are hooked like junkies on the cheap, below-market labor that the illegals bring to the agricultural, livestock, construction and service industries. This of course makes for cheaper goods and services, which we just can’t live without, right?

They know shutting the cartel down means shutting down the border, which means giving up the all cheap goodies open borders bring.

And what politician in an severe economic downturn is going to advocate closing the border when he knows it will almost instantly bring higher prices, more unemployed folks on the dole (legal or not) and the appearance of ‘racial intolerance’ by turning Mexicans away at the border or sending them home? To the politically timid, that’s a disaster.

The cartel has Mexico by the balls because it is so disgustingly corrupt (and has been for decades) and full of politicians that sold out years ago. Mexico?s government no longer has the moral will or the integrity to attack the cartels full force and end the problem.

In a few years, the cartels could be openly running the entire nation of Mexico (which they have been by proxy for awhile now anyway) because nothing is left to stop them from simply buying the leadership of the nation.

The cartel’s intelligence units (they have them and they are damn good) are better informed on all the politicians in Mexico than Mexico’s own state intelligence is. And they?re better armed and better trained, too.

And now the cartel has America by the balls because of our demand for cheap housing, clean hotel rooms and affordable groceries and cheap services. (Gee, isn’t this Walmart Worldview how we got so upside down with China, too?)

And the transparent, soulless, scheming political slime on our side are too cowardly to stand up for what’s right; they’d rather just hide behind duplicitous yowls to ‘fix the dang border!’ while they take huge campaign $$$$$ from same damn companies that HIRED the illegals in the first place! (Hello, Rick Perry? Anyone home you yellow spined, lying, corrupt, elitist bastard?)

No wonder so many ranchers in the Southwest are arming themselves to teeth when they check their property. Because our government, businesses and media have betrayed them for ethnic political pandering, cheap quick-return profits and ‘diversity and tolerance.’

Sorry about the rant, but when tens of thousands of people are getting slaughtered in an open border war and the only thing the idiotic Mexican government can find scream about that is ?offensive? is a cartoon of a flag, I’m not in the mood to listen to it.

Ok, flame off. I’ve powered down now.

#10 Tom Wood
@ 3:14 pm

Serious question Shane –

If we just legalized pot and cocaine in order to take the (high) profit motive out of it, does the law enforcement community as a whole think would that go a long way to solving the problem?

#11 Carl Moore
@ 3:20 pm

The solution to this drug problem is obvious, but politically undoable – legalize all drugs in the U.S. and Mexico. Do that and the prices of these drugs, which are actually cheap to produce, will drop like a rock and the incentive to deal in them will be gone.

This current border war looks very much like the Prohibition Wars of the twenties with Al Capone being replaced by Juan Guzman. We legalized alcohol and the violence ceased. Legalize these stupid drugs and the violence will cease.

#12 Dave Stephens
@ 3:43 pm

Will the Mexicans give up when 50,000 are dead?

100,000? 500,000? More?

Or will there be a “Revolution” like last time? That sure fixed the ol’ corruption problem, didn’t it? Ugh.

Well, it’s a mystery to me – I don’t see any answers to the problem at all… But it’s hard to see how legalization will make things any worse in the long run (short run, I dunno).

#13 Tom Wood
@ 3:54 pm

The real solution is in addressing the human frailty that creates the demand for self-medication.

Nanobots will save us!

#14 Shane Davis
@ 5:46 pm

I think that’s arguing in a vacuum. I don’t know if it would solve the problem, most LE guys I know (and medical and social services folks) say that would create a whole NEW problem – a population that, in our high stress times, will quickly become a massive, addicted class hooked on cheap easy dope.

I’ve been told that the raging addictions America sees right now in food, alcohol, sex and prescription drugs represent just the birth pangs if marijuana, cocaine, meth or heroine were suddenly cheap and legal.

But the vacuum part is that one, the cartels would spend their last dollar buying politicos to stop that initiative in it’s tracks. And two, our own politicos and beauracracies would never surrender than many budgets, personnel or control.

It’s moot point, I think, to argue legalization. The bigger issue to me, if you destroy the supply the demand will go up but only for the hard, hard core who will die without it.

Recreational use would drop. But even then, I’m not sure. At this point, as fascist as it might sound, we just might need to just have more bullets and be better shots.

These cartel guys are pure evil.

#15 Ben Carlsen
@ 9:18 pm

Wow, I guess my eyes have been opened. Now the outrage makes so much less sense. Asking Mr. Cagle “Why have you done this to us?!?!” is ridiculous. His answer can only be “Me? Look what you’ve done to yourselves!”

Great cartoon, and great way to bring this important issue to the forefront of discussion.

#16 Mari
@ 10:15 pm

I do take offense, not because of my ethnic background…but because any nation has the right to stand up for its values. The Mexican nation is one that continues to hold its moral values strongly. They are proud of who they are, and it is not fair to use a nation’s flag to judge every Mexican.
If there is such war in the Mexico-US border is due to the demand of drugs from U. S citizens; Mexico’s goverment can only do so much, is just a one way fight. The U. S needs to catch the big fish demanding these drugs, at the same time Mexico can continue its fight, then it will be a strong war againts drug dealers. There is corruption in both nations, it is just more evident in Mexico. Both need to get their act together!!!!!!!

#17 Johnny Bevaqua
@ 11:31 pm

The number one problem in the war on drugs is Columbia, Mexico is number two. Columbia manufactures and Mexico sells; stop Columbia and the Mexican problem goes away. Bush would have been better off invading Columbia then Iraq..

#18 dan reynolds
@ 11:21 am

Dan Long said all that needs to be said.

#19 JW Wills
@ 4:49 pm

Gee, I think the Mexicans should get more upset over the fact that their citizens are being slaughtered by criminals in huge numbers instead of an editiorial cartoon. The Mexicans are acting like radical Islamists over a Mohammad cartoon. Loons.

#20 August J. Pollak
@ 12:25 pm

Americans kinda gave up the right to lecture anyone about being upset over the desecration of their flag six or seven failed, ridiculous attempted constitutional amendments ago.

#21 Mike Peterson
@ 5:26 pm

These colors don’t run, but it’s awful hard to get the whine stains out.

#22 Shawn Labadie
@ 9:57 pm

I guess Daryle’s cartoon works just from this discussion alone. Good job Daryle!

#23 Jeremy Creecy
@ 10:35 pm

Too bad Machete isn’t around.

#24 John
@ 8:57 pm

I love this and completely suport it’s message.

#25 Dave Stephens
@ 9:23 pm

August: “Americans kinda gave up the right to lecture anyone about being upset over the desecration of their flag six or seven failed, ridiculous attempted constitutional amendments ago.”

True, but a moot point – no one is complaining about ACTUAL flags being “desecrated.”

No, these complaints are even sillier – these complaints are about a CARTOON of a flag being “desecrated.”

Apparently, there is a wack-a-doodle Mexican law that says cartoons like that are a no-no… I think our wack-a-doodle attempts at constitutional amendments were about REAL ‘desecrations.’ I.E., cartoons don’t count.

#26 Susan
@ 9:48 pm

The Mexican flag is something sacred for Mexicans just like the American flag is for Americans! If you were to see someone burning or damaging the image of the US flag the government would be the first to complain about it. Therefore, I think that the Mexicans are just defending their own flag. They have the right REGARDLESS if its a cartoon or not. It is degrating it and it’s disrespectful.&& As for the drug war.. everyone here is just talking about the things they hear on the news or friends of friends who have told you. Therefore you have absolutely no way of saying such things describing of what is going on since you arent really there. I have lived it, because I live across the border with Mexico, and many of the information is filtered to show Mexico as the bad one, but there are many things going on that people do not hear about in the news. Like Mari said the demand of drugs comes mainly from the U.S and until they catch the big fish things will continue to be the same.&& How come nobody complains about all the AMERICAN weapons smuggled into Mexico. They were able to find some of the weapons and they were registered to retired military personel. Those where the same weapons used to kill many of the dead bodies they found in northern Mexico. How about that? Its not only Mexicans U.S. is also involved. Im an U.S. citizen and I know that this may seem as if im against my country, but Im not. I just want Justice. I want to the US to take resposibility if their actions and not blame it on other people.

#27 jesus munoz
@ 11:14 pm

i think that this picture is a shit because MEXICO is a great contry and this flag is the most beautiful flag in the world y al que no le guste que chinge a su madre.

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